Principal Santellano's is starting her 5th year as a school leader. Her passion for education began when she was a volunteer in Kingston Jamaica through the Passionist Volunteers International Program. Through this program she spent a year supporting families in the Kingston community. There she witnessed the transformative power of education and committed herself to the profession of teaching. She joins the St. John de la Salle community after holding various teaching and leadership positions for 13 years in the Diocese of Gary. In 2005, Mrs. Santellano was honored with the Teacher of Excellence Award in East Chicago and in 2017 she received Most Inspiring Teacher Award in Hammond. In 2018, she was awarded the Grace Under Pressure award in the Archdiocese of Chicago. When she is not at school, Principal Santellano likes to play basketball, swim, sing and spend quality time with her loving husband and three kids.
Mr. McClellan is a graduate of Roosevelt University, with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Biology. Before entering the education field, he worked in clinical research, examining chronic illnesses. Mr. McClellan joins us from teaching at Marya Yates Elementary school in the south suburbs. In 2021, he was awarded Hero of the School from the Archdiocese of Chicago. He provides consultation nationally on the topic of Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
Mrs. Janice Wills has worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago for 26 years in a variety roles including Administrative Assistant, Food Service and Before and After Care Coordinator. Mrs. Wills is happily married to Mr. Richard Wills, former Maintenance Supervisor here at SJDLS. Mrs. Wills is proud that 5 of her 6 children attended both Catholic Grammar and High School. She has 11 beautiful grandbabies and one great-grandchild! She loves coming to work every day with the St. John students and families.
Mrs. India Maynor is our pre-K teacher. Teaching is her passion, and she looks forward to collaborating with both you and your child. This year promises fun and lots of learning. Married with four daughters, ages 14, 12, 5, and 3, Mrs. Maynor spends most of her free time with her family. With 20 years of experience in primary education, she loves teaching pre-K students because she believes a strong foundation encourages a successful educational journey!
Ms. Chanel Johnson is Chicago native having 13 years of corporate work experience until motherhood. Having experienced a love like no other, she realized that her passion was caring for infants and children. The past 5 years of being a childcare provider has enriched her love even greater for early childhood education. She is extremely excited to start this journey as a preK aide with SJDLS.
Janet Washington was born and raised in New Jersey. After retirement she decided to relocate to NC to be closer to her elderly parents. She lived there for over 10 years until she found the love of her life, Raymond Washington, and moved to Chicago. She has three beautiful children and 3 grandchildren.
She has an AS, and BS degree in health science and she is in school now obtaining her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction. Janet always had a love for children, and although she has only been teaching in ECE for 3 years, she knows that she will continue to develop the minds of our future generation to become very successful.
She believes in fostering an environment that empowers children to learn new strategies, work together, and build independence so they have the opportunity to develop into great leaders for our future generation.
Kindergarten aide, After Care Coordinator
Mrs. Hudson has worked at St. John de la Salle for over 11 years in a variety of roles: Pre-K and Kindergarten Aide, After School Care Coordinator, Substitute Teacher, Before School coordinator, as well as coordinating the Mother-Son and the Father-Daughter dances in the spring! Before her time here, she worked throughout the Archdiocese teaching and assisting. Ms. Hudson can be found all over St. John assisting wherever needed. When asked what she loves most about St. John de la Salle, Mrs. Hudson replied, "Kids- I love all kids!" In her life outside of SJDLS, Mrs. Hudson has 4 grown children and 8 grandchildren.
1st Grade Instructional Assistant
and After Care Coordinator
Ms. Whitney has been the Preschool aide at SJDLS for 6 years. She has also been the After-Care supervisor, substitute teacher, and goes wherever she is needed! Ms. Whitney is the Cheerleading Coach. In her spare time, Ms. Whitney likes to do hair, and volunteers her time to help the community. Ms. Whitney is an aunt to many nieces and nephews who she loves to spend time with. She enjoys playing games and working with young people.
I received my B.S. degree in Education at the University of Alabama. I am currently working on my Masters at Saint Xavier University with an endorsement in Elementary Education. Before coming to SJDL, I was working as a substitute teacher for Summit Hill district 161. I love spending time with my three younger brothers and anything Disney. I am so excited to be teaching at SJDLS!
Elliott Hardy, is a proud graduate of Marist High School, Chicago, IL and went on to receive my Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University- Carbondale, IL. Upon graduation from S. I.U.C. I remained in Carbondale and worked as a Preschool Teacher where I developed lasting relationships with parents and children alike. Previously, I was the kindergarten teacher at Pope John Paul II Catholic School in Chicago, Illinois. I have been in the educational field for over 6 years now. Working in Social Services most recently has afforded Mr. Hardy, the opportunity to work in areas related to Crisis Intervention, Group Therapy and Curriculum development. I have been in the social work field for over 17 years. Mr. Hardy also possesses a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University and Master of Science in Education, with emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University- Portland. Mr. Hardy is currently working on his Master’s in Education from National Louis University
Ms. Maddie Carr is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where she earned her B.A. in Psychology and minor in Education, Schooling, & Society. She then went on to earn her Masters of Education through Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education while teaching 2nd and 3rd Grade at a Catholic School in Los Angeles, CA. Though originally from the Washington D.C. area, Ms. Carr is excited to be living in Chicago and joining the SJDLS community where she feels blessed to be continuing her lifelong dream of teaching children. She is grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with families to guide the intellectual and spiritual growth of all of her students towards achieving their goals and reaching their fullest potential.
Tanisha Randolph was born and raised in the city of Chicago. She has a B.A. from Chicago State University and has taught for both public and private institutions for 20 years Favorite educational quote:
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Albert Einstein
Sister Maria Okeke
Sister Maria Ukamaka Okeke is a Catholic education teacher and administrator with 18 years of experience as a principal in Catholic primary and secondary schools. She belongs to the religious institute of the Immaculate Heart of Maria Mother of Christ (IHM). Currently, she is getting her Ph.D. in Educational leadership and Administration with a concentration in K-12 at DePaul University Chicago.
5th-8th Social Studies and Science
Ms. Erica Davis is a Chicago native who loves God and serving his people. She has worked in Education for over 12 years. Erica previously taught 1st grade at St. John and started the first ever SJDLS Drumline! Outside of her passion for Education, her hobbies include music, sports, and shopping. Erica is looking forward to blessing St. John with her gifts.
Senora spends the summer working with children in need in her native Ecuador. Senora is working to teach all of our students Spanish in grades PK-8, as well as starting an after-school Spanish Club.
Physical Education Teacher
I was born in Bellville, Illinois(Just outside of East St. Louis, IL). Growing up I loved sports and played in the marching band. I was a big kid so the tuba fit me perfectly. At the age of 15 I went to the Million Man March in D.C. on October 16th 1995 hosted by the great Louis Farrakhan. It was one of many defining moments in my life. After highschool, I accepted a full football scholarship from Eastern Illinois University and played alongside Tony Romo (Soon to be Dallas Cowboys Quarterback). We won the Conference Championship and I received my letterman jacket and a NCAA Conference Championship Ring. Soon, I ran away to Chicago with my college sweetheart, got married, and started a wonderful family that I am so proud of. Today, I am part of a bigger family in St. John and I love it.